Monday, October 18, 2010

Preparing for the Social Aspects of College

Interesting title, hmmm?  It's funny, I've been focusing on preparing my oldest daughter for the academic demands of college by trying to provide a solid, college-prep high school education for her but obviously I've failed to focus on what's really important - preparing her socially.

Thank goodness this reminder came to my daughter just last week so that we can change how we spend our days!  A not-to-be-named college student was helping out at my daughter's swim team practice.  Upon finding out that she is homeschooled, he first asked if she was going to continue to homeschool during high school.  She told him that she will continue to be homeschooled throughout high school.  He then asked, "How are you going to be prepared for college?"

Amber politely informed him that, in general, homeschoolers are prepared for and do well in college since they are used to working independently.  She told him about her college-prep courses and her focus on reading the classics.

After listening to her explanation about how she was preparing academically for college, he looked at her blankly and said, "No, I mean socially."   

I"m sure you're anxious to hear the changes we'll be making to our schedule now that we've received this little gem of wisdom.  Now that we know what's really important, we'll be dropping Biology so that my daughter can just spend that time on Facebook instead.  As well, we'll be dropping Algebra so that we can add a class I've been working on - Conversational Starters for the Hopelessly Awkward Homeschooler.  Finally, no more wasting time reading boring classics - all she really needs to read is those helpful articles about friends and boyfriends in teen magazines.   

I'm just thankful for the words of wisdom that drip so willingly from the lips of those who obviously know much more about the world and what my daughter needs to prepare for college than I do. 

Obviously, the above post must be read tongue-in-cheek.  My daughter found his response quite funny and joked about it with some of the other swimmers.  When she told me, we had a good laugh and actually got quite silly thinking of names of different classes that we could add to our day to make her more "socially" prepared for college.

Realistically, academics aside, my daughter:
  • competes on a USA swim team year-round and takes part in local, state, and regional swim meets (and hopefully, a national level meet soon!)
  • is active in our church youth group
  • has good relationships with her siblings, parents, and relatives
  • has several good friends whom she talks to and sees on a regular basis and countless acquaintances
  • volunteers monthly at an assisted-care facility for the elderly
  • volunteers regularly at our church to work with young children.
Preparing socially for college and life should focus on building relationships with people of all different ages and learning to feel comfortable in a wide-range of situations.  As far as I'm concerned, she's doing a wonderful job of preparing socially for the college experience...and for life outside our home. 

9 comments:

Kris @ WUHS and Eclipsed said...

Dropping Algebra and Biology? Now, that's college prep my daughter could get on board with! LOL

Swimtaxi said...

BRAVO!

MarieC said...

Wow....your daughter is lucky...with all those activities you must let her out of the closet a lot!! Funny what people think of homeschoolers & socialization, eh?

MarieC said...

Wow....your daughter is lucky...with all those activities you must let her out of the closet a lot!! Funny what people think of homeschoolers & socialization, eh?

MarieC said...

Wow....your daughter is lucky...with all those activities you must let her out of the closet a lot!! Funny what people think of homeschoolers & socialization, eh?

Melissa D said...

Dating and that aspect of social life has changed immensely since I was in college, though, and it was bad enough then. Do you have any (serious) advice for that? I was very sheltered and totally unprepared for the onslaught of male attention.

Samantha said...

Melissa,

Thank you for your comment. I don't have any good advice for how to handle dating relationships in college - it's been a long time since I was in college and I went to public school for high school. I'm not sure how well that prepared me for the dating relationships I had in college. My high school years were spent worrying WAY too much about what boys thought of me and I had my fair share of broken-hearted crying. I did date in college but I actually married my high-school sweetheart while I was working on my Master's degree when we were both finally ready for a serious relationship.

Regarding my daughter, though, I don't consider her incredibly sheltered. Yes, she is sheltered in many ways but she does regularly attend swim meets in which she is surrounded by not only boys her own age, but college-age young men as well. She has been on Sectional swim teams with college students as well. She is also quite active in our church's youth group where she interacts regularly with boys her own age and older. She also has several friends who are boys. She feels comfortable talking with boys and seems to handle "interest" well.

She has never had a "boyfriend" and, honestly, we discourage her in that area. At this point, though, she finds the idea rather silly given her age and her incredibly busy schedule. Her focus is on her swimming goals, her faith, her family, her schoolwork, and her friends right now.

I have tried incredibly hard to keep a VERY open conversational path with her regarding dating and sex. She has a good head on her shoulders and given an additional five more years of growth and maturity, hopefully, she can make choices that are right for her regarding relationships with the opposite sex in college.

As a mother, I pray for her future spouse and just really encourage her to value herself and her body and make good choices that are healthy both physically and spiritually.

I don't know if any of that answers your question, Melissa. If any other homeschool mothers would like to comment on preparing their daughters for college regarding handling relationships with the opposite sex, I am sure we would all benefit from the conversation.

Samantha

emmalina73 said...

Algebra? Literature? No, no, no! You are not preparing her for the world at all, here are some of the 'crammer' courses you should try to squeeze in before releasing her into the world of college:

From Self Confident to Self Loathing - judging yourself harshly and body hatred.

Why Feminism Doesn't Apply to Me

Inappropriate Outfits and Choosing the WRONG GUY

Why Boys Are The Only Thing You Should Think About.

I'm pretty sure that if you make a start now she can be in line with the average teen girl before you know it.

Swim team? What were you thinking ; )

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